Part 573sd – Smith Robertson Genealogy – GGG-Grandmother Mary Ann (née Doret) Smith – Food For Thought – Part 4

12 September 2011

Good Day,

Just back from my Dentist. Gotta go back tomorrow… and my question is “Do signs of aging begin with the porcelain of my teeth falling off as a precursor of what’s to come?” Yup, I have to have porcelain repaired which entails having a bridge replaced… Got to be done. I refuse to eat strained food through a straw.

I’ve been in conversations with Steve in Wales and Peter in New York regarding my past posts regarding ggg-grandmother Mary Ann (née Doret). Thanks Peter for copy of the 1832 “Annual Return of the Increase and Decrease of Slaves belonging to James of the Parish of Saint George for the Year 1832”. As mentioned, it is key to the support that the reasoning for the increase in the population of ggg-grandfather James Smith’s responsibility is due to the marriage to ggg-grandmother Mary Ann (née Doret).

Steve your discovery of the listing of Doret and Dorrets in the Howff Graveyard of Dundee, from the Friends of Dundee City Archives certainly opens a new door in our search of the origins and genealogy of ggg-grandmother Mary Ann (née Doret) Smith. All-things-being-equal I have been using “née” as an indication of ggg-grandmother Mary Ann’s maiden name. As some of the family tales relate that ggg-grandfather James Smith “Acquired Madame Doret”, there is another possibility that ggg-grandmother Mary Ann may have been a widow and/or previously married prior to her marriage to ggg-grandfather James.

Steve throws into the discussion, and a good possibility, that “maybe she (ggg-grandmother Mary Ann) was the daughter of a Scottish settler in Grenada…” and if “she was a slave owner, maybe she inherited. Conjecture, I know, but a possibility.

I also did use the “tenets” and descriptions from a series of Descendant Charts that I had received from various members of our extended family. As there were some similarities between a number of them I have always wondered if one may have defaulted from the others, or the information did arise from some other point of origin.

The question introduced that our ggg-grandmother Mary Ann (née Doret) Smith could have been from Scotland does make a lot of sense, especially in light of the fact that I have been working with Stephen from Glasgow. I have always wondered, why if she had been from Martinique and as Grenada did have such a strong French influence at around that time, why did she have an Anglicized version of the name "Marie Anne"?

The documents could have been easily Anglicized, but if she was as independent as she appeared to be I would have thought that her name would have been recorded as "Marie Ann". The prime issue is that as she was illiterate, which may have been a norm for women at the time, some English Scribe(s) may have written and recorded her name as "Mary Ann".

The next thing I have to do is two-fold. I have to start looking for, one, any Indentures in the Grenada Registers of Records that may be referenced to other Dorets, and two, if ggg-grandmother had been a slave, which is one of the family tales, especially derived from being "acquired", could there be some Indenture of Manumission that would have had given her her freedom... to become a property owner, etc..

Definitely food for thought… I certainly welcome more ideas and comments from others.

Thank you Steve, Peter, and Stephen.




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